Quantcast

Oil and Gas Company Targets Prominent Activist

Energy

Earthworks

The following is a statement by Gwen Lachelt, director, Earthworks’ Oil and Gas Accountability Project:

After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stepped in when the state of Texas failed to address a water well contamination incident involving Range Resources, the company responded by suing the very landowner whose water was polluted. And Range didn’t stop there. It cast a wide net in a twisted attempt to show that the landowner was defaming Range’s reputation. They even forced our employee, the popular blogger and well-known oil and gas activist, Sharon Wilson (aka “TX Sharon”), to appear in court last week.

Range is accusing Sharon of conspiring with the landowner to commit defamation. Range demanded that Sharon divulge personal financial information, all correspondence mentioning the landowner, the EPA, the scientist that conducted the water quality tests, and even the word “Range,” dating back to 2005.

In her blog, Texas Sharon reports daily on oil and gas impacts in Texas, as well as across the country and the world. Sharon works every day to assist people whose lives have been affected by drilling and fracking and to reform oil and gas policies and practices. When the Range story hit the Texas television station WFAA in December 2010, Sharon got busy. She posted a home video she received in an email about the landowner’s water contamination. She wrote about the case and related issues using publicly available information such as EPA documents, media reports and court transcripts. She expressed her opinion.

Range Resources’ tactics appear to be designed to send a warning to landowners, other bloggers, journalists and advocates that if they document contamination with home videos or photos, write about oil and gas impacts, or ask questions, that they too will be hauled into court.

One thing we know for certain is that Texas Sharon, Earthworks and the many people and groups nationwide expressing concerns about water and air quality and the future of their communities—are not going away.

As more and more reports of drilling and fracking contamination surface in the national media, local, state and federal agencies are responding by adopting protective measures and requiring better oil and gas practices.

If Range had invested in reasonable practices to prevent pollution instead of spending untold sums lashing out at the landowner and a blogger, the goodwill created would be immeasurable.

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Elva Etienne / Moment / Getty Images

By Ketura Persellin

Gift-giving is filled with minefields, but the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) got your back, so you don't need to worry about inadvertently giving family members presents laden with toxic chemicals. With that in mind, here are our suggestions for gifts to give your family this season.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Cheri Bantilan MS, RD, CD

Garlic is an ingredient that provides great flavor to dishes and can be found in most kitchens across the globe.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Claire O'Connor

Agriculture is on the front lines of climate change. Whether it's the a seven-year drought drying up fields in California, the devastating Midwest flooding in 2019, or hurricane after hurricane hitting the Eastern Shore, agriculture and rural communities are already feeling the effects of a changing climate. Scientists expect climate change to make these extreme weather events both more frequent and more intense in coming years.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Echinacea is a group of flowering plants that belong to the daisy family, along with plants like sunflowers, chicory, chamomile, and chrysanthemums.

Read More Show Less
One of the 25 new Long Beach Transit hybrid gasoline-electric buses on April 23, 2009. Jeff Gritchen / Digital First Media / Orange County Register / Getty Images

In Long Beach, California, some electric buses can charge along their route without cords or wires.

When a bus reaches the Pine Avenue station, it parks over a special charging pad. While passengers get on and off, the charger transfers energy to a receiver on the bottom of the bus.

Read More Show Less